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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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FIFA Reportedly Dropping Saudi Deal for Women’s World Cup

  • FIFA is reportedly planning to drop Saudi Arabia's tourism board as a sponsor for the Women's World Cup.
  • New Zealand and Australia were not consulted on the deal.
The FIFA Women's World Cup trophy.
FIFA

FIFA is reportedly planning to drop Saudi Arabia’s tourism board as a sponsor for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The Athletic reported Visit Saudi as a tournament partner in January, but the announcement received criticism in regard to the nation’s controversial human rights record. Shortly after, hosts Australia and New Zealand wrote a letter to FIFA demanding clarification, as they were not consulted on the deal. 

FIFA hasn’t commented publicly on the matter. 

“While we acknowledge some important and positive gender equality reforms have commenced in Saudi Arabia, it remains undeniable under any reasonable standard that the rights of women remain severely restricted,” Football Australia and New Zealand Football wrote in a letter.

The amount of criticism was reportedly a shock to FIFA, which is now looking at how it can remodel the current agreement — it hopes to find a solution before the FIFA congress’ next session later this month.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the deal could be disassociated from Saudi Arabia’s tourism board and credited to another Saudi body.

Amnesty’s Anger

Amnesty International said the deal would allow for a “crude exploitation of their sport.”

The organization has also recently pushed the Premier League to look more into Newcastle United’s ownership links between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the Saudi government.

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